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I’d like to share with you my favorite project to date, Mark Turner’s Stables. He is a fantastic Reining Horse trainer and I was requested to surprise him by reflecting just that with a custom concrete front porch design!

Mark introduced me to Reining horses over 20 years ago, which I have owned and raised ever since. This “minor” obsession is the main reason for the soft spot for this project and how I developed such a great friendship with his family. Mark’s mother in law, Lucille, and his wife Holly, called one day to ask about surprising Mark with a custom concrete design to be stained and engraved on the front porch of his barn. After meeting with Lucille I learned they wanted this custom design to feature a Reining Horse surrounded with some kind of pattern… to be determined.

This concrete porch welcomes new customers and current clients, therefore they wanted it to make a unique statement. It’s not so welcoming now, huh?


When starting any custom concrete project I begin by taking a lot of “before” pictures, and working with my clients to develop ideas. This was no different, once the initial meeting was complete I sketched a few ideas illustrating, differences in pattern options for the concrete, size variances of these patterns and color choices. All of this done specifically to make the centerpiece, a Reining Horse, stand out.

Stained concrete floor[Is this Acid or Water Based staining?  Any guesses? Leave your answer in the comments section!]

Together we decided which aspects of the different sketches to use, made some minor tweaks and we had our final concept! Since visualization can be a challenge I’ve found that “chalking” out the design directly on the concrete helps people see the designs, determine size of patterns and, above all, be comfortable with the final custom design. This is especially helpful when dealing with a concrete porch that’s roughly 100ft long!

custom concrete pattern

This is just the beginning! Follow along with me as I break down this job. I’m going to take you from start to finish of this custom designed concrete staining and engraving project.

All my jobs follow the same steps; starting with concrete prep, concrete staining, chalking out the design, engraving and finally finishing with concrete sealing. I’m also going to address how I handled on the job obstacles, from weather, concrete rust stains, heavy foot traffic and constant dust from Horse traffic!


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